With the 44th Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival just around the corner, organizers are looking for volunteers to help make sure everything runs smoothly.
Shrimp Festival President Jennifer Marshburn says they like to have 50 to 75 volunteers on hand to do things like run booths and assist festivalgoers during the two-day festival. Right now, Marshburn says they have about 30 confirmed. One of the problems with securing volunteers is that the very attraction that draws people to the area keeps locals busy.
“Being a commercial fishing village, a lot of the people are away and not able to be here because it is peak shrimp season,” said Marshburn, who feels confident they will meet the volunteer goal. Otherwise, Marshburn said, festival staff will man stations, making it more difficult to oversee the festival as a whole.
The event includes amusement park rides, vendors including local artists and nonprofit organizations, and a parade at 9 a.m. on Aug. 9, the first day of the festival, said Marshburn.
The festival will continue through Aug. 10 at 126 Park Lane in Sneads Ferry. Parking will be offsite at Sneads Ferry Road, Old Folkstone Road and Clay Hill Road, and trolleys will be provided to shuttle people to the festival. No coolers, pets, alcohol, or golf carts are allowed on the festival grounds.
Admission is $5 for anyone over 13, and $2 for children 6 to 12 years old. Marshburn says money raised from the festival will go back into the community, by paying for various Shrimp Festival scholarships, facility upgrades and donations to local nonprofits.
New to the festival this year are wrist bands, which will allow the wearer to go on an unlimited number of rides for just one price of $15, instead of buying tickets for each ride. There will also be more activities for children, including a giant inflatable slide, a fun house and new rides.
More than 40 arts and crafts vendors and 14 nonprofits will have booths at the festival. The vendors at the festival will include booths for things like jewelry, but there will also be booths from Sneads Ferry Armory, Great Dane Rescue of the Carolinas and the Dixon Football Gridiron Club, according to Ana Scott, the arts and crafts booth coordinator.
Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle, from Animal Planet’s Gator Boys, will perform demonstrations including alligator wrestling, as well as some snake handling.
The Gator Boys will be performing three times a day, and will be available for a meet and greet on both Saturday and Sunday. The Gator Boys performance, like many of the activities at the festival, is free with admission. The children’s fossil pit, aquarium touch tank, evening fireworks and live music from seven bands are all included.
Scott said attendees should make sure they pick up a Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival T-shirt, available for $15 — and, of course, a plate of shrimp or two.
For more information, call 910-327-3335 or visit sneadsferryshrimpfestival.org.